Inquiring minds want to know, what do the teenagers of Warfield have to say?
On Sunday, the young people living in the village will have a chance to get their voices heard at a forum hosted by council and the recreation committee.
Warfield councillor Diane Langman sits on the rec committee and says the demographic the forum is trying to engage doesn’t usually have a way to have its concerns heard by decision-makers.
“The age group we are targeting for this focus group, 12-to-19-year olds, is lacking a voice currently within our community,” she said.
“They don’t have a way to communicate with council or necessarily one another. We want our youth to become engaged within the community. We want the youth to feel as though they are contributing to their community.”
Sometimes, members of council and committees aren’t necessarily in touch with the younger population of Warfield and Langman is trying to fix that.
“The ideas that we think are cool and amazing things, they may hate,” she explained. “The last thing we want to do is start organizing recreational activities that there is zero interest in. By having the forum and hearing ideas, we are using a valuable resource and engaging our youth.”
Teenagers who come to the forum will be asked questions about what they want to see for their age group in Warfield. Once the answers are gathered together, Langman says the next step is to create an action plan.
“After the forum, we will be breaking things down and picking up to four items that we want to accomplish this year,” she said, adding that there is still planning to do. “We would like to set group leaders to each of these items so we can then set them in motion.”
In the future, Langman hopes this will turn into something bigger with a permanent youth group to help council get going in the right direction for their age group.
“Ideally, we would like to see a youth action committee set up in Warfield,” she said. “We can set up courses for youth, have fun nights, encourage volunteerism in the community and even get the various other youth groups in the region together.”
Council members have even thrown around the idea of having teenagers sit around their own council table.
“This may not possibly happen until September, but we would also like to set up a youth council,” said Langman. “The political part of things is not necessarily something that our youth know about or understand, but if we begin to empower them, give them guidance, direction goals to accomplish, we are building the future of our community up to be successful. That is what community is all about.”
The youth forum begins at 4 p.m. at the Warfield Community Hall on Sunday. Pizza will be provided for attendees.
For more information, call Langman at 250-368-6836 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org